, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 326-330

Properties of a general model of DNA evolution under no-strand-bias conditions

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Under the hypothesis of no-strand-bias conditions, the Watson and Crick base-pairing rule decreases the complexity of models of DNA evolution by reducing to six the maximum number of substitution rates. It was shown that intrastrand equimolarity between A and T (A * T *) and between G and C (G * C *) is a general asymptotic property of this class of models. This statistical prediction was observed on 60 long genomic fragments (>50 kbp) from various kingdoms, even when the effect of the two opposite orientations for coding sequences is removed. The practical consequence of the model for estimating the expected number of substitutions per site between two homologous DNA sequences is discussed.